Voluntary land registration

Registers of Scotland have announced their ambition to have 100% of the land in Scotland mapped on this new Land Register by 2024. Kirstin Wilson explains the merits of voluntarily registering your property before this date.

30 November 2022

Vibrant sunrise at Quiraing on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

In 1981 the Registers of Scotland established a digital map-based register called the Land Register of Scotland. This was introduced to replace the historic, deeds-based General Register of Sasines.

Registers of Scotland have announced their ambition to have 100% of the land in Scotland mapped on this new Land Register by 2024. As of October 2022, only 50.1% of land has been mapped digitally on the register, with a further 5.9% currently in progress.

There are a number of events which will trigger first registration, the most common of which are selling, transferring and mortgaging your property. However, you don’t need to wait for such an event in order to have your land or property registered in the Land Register. 

Registers of Scotland offers you an opportunity to voluntarily register your property. But is this worth considering for you?

Benefits of Voluntary Registration

  • First Registration of a property can be a long process. Voluntary Registration allows registration to occur, and for any anomalies or disputes to be resolved, while there are no immediate time constraints.
  • In a similar vein, you may wish to undertake Voluntary Registration in order to leave your title in good order for future generations. This is a particularly popular route for those with overly complex or piecemeal titles that they do not wish to leave for their families to resolve. 
  • A Land Registered title simplifies the conveyancing procedure, making future transactions easier, cheaper, and faster.
  • Where there is a likelihood of neighbouring boundary disputes, being the first onto the Land Register will help avoid potential discrepancies made by neighbours, which would require significant work to rectify.
  • The replacement of missing sasine deeds can be an expensive and timely process. Once Land Registered, all relevant information and deeds are compiled into one document which can easily be accessed digitally.
  • Most importantly, registering your property helps safeguard your ownership. A Land Registered title includes a state-backed warranty from the Keeper of the Register which gives the owner protection against claims of adverse possession.


  • There will be costs associated with registering your property, including registration dues based on the value of the subjects. However, if your property is registered for the first time by way of Voluntary Registration then you will receive a 25% discount. There will of course be additional legal fees incurred for the work involved in applying for voluntary registration.
  • Registers of Scotland, to reach their 2024 target, are undertaking Keeper Induced Registration in urban, residential areas. This will provide the same result without the need for registration dues, however we cannot anticipate if and when this may occur for particular properties and potential boundary issues may not be addressed or completed in your favour by Registers of Scotland.

If you are considering having your property registered in the Land Register of Scotland or wish to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our Residential Conveyancing or Rural colleagues.

Total land mass coverage map October 2022